Topic: The Power of Diversity in the Community (Grades 9 & 10)

Second Place

Title: Being the Same is Mediocre

By: Noor Alawi of Wayne, NJ

Being different is bad. How many times have you heard this sentence? Probably not a lot. This is the reason that people think that as a society, we are not scared of diversity. Now, how many times have you heard someone ask their friends what they are wearing so that they don’t look too under or overdressed? How many times have you heard someone say they wish they were skinnier? Or they wish they were a lighter or darker skin color. Or that they wish they had straighter or curlier hair. Probably a lot. There is pure fear of being different in this world and there is no hiding that. Why is it not normalized to be different? Why is being “different” even a concept? The normal should be that there is no “normal” and there is no “different”.

There is power in diversity. If this idea is constantly being pushed away, it will end in this world’s demise. There have already been so many crazy concepts to destroy diversity. Like Eugenics teaches that selective breeding with humans can get rid of “undesirable” traits in babies. Even leading to the idea of designer babies. A “designer baby” is a baby whose genetic makeup has been altered to make sure certain traits are expressed or eliminated. This study has been making an uprising throughout the years, and although it is mostly for medical scenarios, people now want to do it to change their baby’s appearance. Are we as a society so afraid of diversity that a mother wants to change their baby’s appearance before they are even born? Are we as a society so afraid of diversity that we take something that is meant to make a baby have fewer medical issues and turn it into something twisted? Are we as a society so afraid of diversity that a mother doesn’t think that she can give birth to a baby and think the baby is beautiful just the way it is? Are we as a society really that afraid of being different than we are even afraid of others being different? The answer to all these questions is yes.

There is power in diversity. Diversity promotes thinking from different perspectives, learning new ways of thinking, and new ways of life in general. Being the same is not only mediocre but boring. What if everyone all thought the same? There would be absolutely no evolution in this world. Express diversity because it is a blessing. Allah(SWT) says in Surah Al-Hujurat: “O people, we created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should get to know one another. In God’s eyes, the most honored of you are the ones most mindful of Him: God is All-Knowing, All-Aware (49:13).”